[Note: This story was written 12 years ago, but the circumstances still apply!]
We’ve just stacked back our equipment into the bus. Another edition of SKOOP, our schools outreach program, has just come to a close. Only a few of the students are still seen around, some of them hanging back to chat with members of the Alternorm team. As we check to make sure we didn’t leave any piece of equipment in the hall, I hear Daniel, a member of our theatre group say “Men, those kids really enjoyed themselves.”
“Yeah,” agrees Benjamin. “See how they danced!”
“They just couldn’t resist the music; it was too powerful,” adds Innocent.
“Men, even the devil would have danced!” says the new team member who says his name is Harmony. Everyone laughs.
But I know he’s wrong.
The devil couldn’t have danced. True, the music was powerful. We have a good music team. Harry is a good drummer. Yemi, the multi-instrumentalist who serves as my band coordinator, is a professional musician, a fine singer, songwriter, music producer and sound engineer with a music degree in his pocket. David, the bassist, is an old hand; he so easily pumps thick pulsating sound out of his instrument. And I still manage to strum well on my Ovation guitar as I sing. And when I have Bolanle, my wife beside me, there’s no telling how inspiring things could get. Add to this combination the presence of a guest artiste like Orji Olugu doing his peculiar bit, and the resulting music could be powerful indeed.
But the devil couldn’t have danced.
True,the kids got so excitingly expressive as we played and sang, and many of them crowded out into the front of the hall in dance; but I guess even the devil knew we didn’t come here merely to excite a dance. That’s why after all the stomping and wiggling and sweating, after all the rib-cracking laughter generated by the drama sketches and jokes, the kids were given a chance to decide for Christ. And 41 of them said yes to the Lord.
Now we’re on our way back home. As I squeeze the 25-seater bus through the school’s narrow gate, I notice the sheets of decision slips in my wife’s hands. She sits there beside me wearing a little smile and browsing through the sheets of paper. Before I can ask what she finds so amusing, she says, “This is one of my best moments; when I read through the kids’ decision slips.” And she holds the slips like some precious treasure.
“But, you know, we’ve got to do better at follow-up this time around,” I say, remembering the many hundreds of past SKOOP converts we couldn’t muster enough resources to follow up.
“Yes,” she agrees.
As the bus gains speed and Simplicity Commercial Secondary School vanishes from view, I tell myself, ‘Yes, we must do better this time. We will keep in touch with these kids. We will write to them and send them Christian growth material. We must ensure that they are helped to stand and grow in their new life. Concerning these 41 souls, the devil must not get a chance to dance!
And I wonder just how we would do what we must do if we don’t get some help.